Tirupati: In a princely offering, an NRI devotee from US today donated Rs 16 crore to the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala.
M Ramalinga Raju, an entrepreneur based in the United States, handed over the offering in the form of a demand draft to top temple officials, temple sources said.
They said this was the first such large cash offering made by an individual devotee from overseas.
Mr Raju presented the DD to Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Chairman K. Bapiraju and the temple Joint Executive Officer K.S. Srinivasa Raju at the temple.
He requested the TTD, administering the cash-rich ancient temple, that Rs 11 crore be used to make a golden garland "sahasra nama mala" weighing about 35 kg and utilise the balance Rs five crore for the construction of a free-meal complex for pilgrims at Tiruchanur near here, they said.
This is the second large cash offering since last month. On March 27, a Chennai-based pharmaceutical firm had donated Rs two crore to the hill shrine, they added.